Who Am I Thankful For? You, You, and You! — Post by Mary C. Findley

thanks hop image

Hi! I’ll just say this out loud. I agreed to participate in this author Thanksgiving blog hop, and then forgot all about it. But, it just so happens, that I have things I am thankful for, or, rather, people, so I am very glad I did remember, and I do have this opportunity to share just who I am thankful for. I’ll give my thanks in reverse order, from least to greatest. Do not think that least means unimportant or anything like that. I am so very thankful for everyone on this list. I truly am. God bless my thankful list inhabitants. They have blessed me.

1. I am thankful for author friends. Just click that picture at the top of this post and you will see just a few of my author friends, and their books, and you will be thankful for them too. All of them write from a heart of service to God. Pray for Christian authors as you read their books, and ask God to keep us focused and able to write for Him.

“My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.”  Psalm 45:1

2. I am thankful for my loved ones. That’s my family and friends, the ones I especially praise God for (Hubby and daughter, you know who you are) and the ones I am privileged to pray for which is everybody. So I praise God for them, too. Because the privilege of praying for others in unparallelled. God wakes me up at night and says, “pray for somebody.” He doesn’t even always tell me who. But often it ends up being family, or friends who have troubles. I am also thankful for the followers of this blog, and faithful readers and sharers. Thank God! Thank God! You are over two thousand strong, so thank you, too.

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4

3. I am thankful beyond measure for the God who has made Himself known to me, pursued me, and brought me to Himself. So thankful.

1 Corinthians 2:9 but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”

I’d like to share a book of mine, A Dodge, a Twist, and a Tobacconist, and I will give away a free copy of the illustrated ebook version to anyone who comments about what they are thankful for. Read about it by clicking the image below.

dodge illustrated 25

As an aside, I’m thankful for food at Thanksgiving and Christmas time. I am not very well domesticated, but I do love making Turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and especially baking homemade from scratch rolls. My Dodge book has a recipe in it that I kind of invented, and I’d like to share. I have made these a few times but so far they’ve been too messy to take pictures of. They are delicious, though. You are welcome to try them. I promise Uncle Vanya will not come after you if they aren’t pretty.

bread ball recipe

Here’s a bigger version of Uncle Vanya’s Bread Balls, if you have trouble reading this one:

http://elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/for-your-christmas-baking-pleasure-uncle-vanyas-bread-balls/

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Teaser from “Family Plan”– post by Mary C. Findley

fifty shades one final tagline the edge 25

Our latest fiction work is a collection of short stories titled “Fifty Shades of Faithful.” The following comes from the last story, called “Family Plan.”

“Hi, um … my wife and I want to get some photos taken, but she’s running a little late. Is it okay if I wait for her here?”
“Of course.” Calvin Weeks, the receptionist, swung around his desk and led the young Asian man over to the comfortable waiting area. “You can just sit here and relax, or you can start filling out your information here–” he indicated a touchscreen “– and you can even look at packages and prices by touching this, here. You have great cheekbones, by the way, and Viv will love working with you. I can’t wait to see your wife. I am just nuts about – are you Chinese? What’s your name?”
“Alan Chang,” the young man said with a nervous blush, looking at the touchscreen. Calvin swept back to the counter as someone else entered.

“How much for family photos?” Alan Chang looked up and tensed as the group entered Living Images Photo Studio. The blond male receptionist smiled at them and got to chatting and typing on his console. Alan’s eyes widened as he took in the number of children the couple had, and how young the mother looked. All of them looked strikingly attractive. The man had perfect gray touches at his temples and wore a pure white and red silk jacket. The woman had her hair wound into two braided buns fastened with ivory sticks and lacy white and gold ribbons. Her top and capri-length pants were gold and white silk with little fingerless mitts, socks, and sandals.
Four children stayed close to them; two girls and two boys, the youngest seeming to be fraternal twins under the age of five, and the whole crowd looked like cosplay characters. Everything about them was perfect. Too perfect. Chang waited until the photographer, a striking redheaded woman who seemed to favor animal-hide clothing, had ushered them behind a curtain. He jumped up to the desk.
“Don’t let those people leave,” he hissed at the receptionist, freezing the young guy’s fingers in mid-stroke and showing him a badge.
“Can I see that ID?” The receptionist, whose nametag said Calvin, had recovered his composure quickly. Chang reluctantly handed over his wallet. Calvin studied the picture. “That’s terrible. Viv can do a much better job for you.”
“I’m serious,” Chang snapped.
“I can see that you are. Hey, Sam, I am so glad you’re here!” Calvin waved at the big, uniformed police officer with a dark mustache who entered the shop at that moment. “Viv is back shooting this adorable oriental family and this gentleman seems to want us to try to keep them here.”
“I don’t need local police,” sneered Chang. “You can walk right back out of here. In fifteen minutes I’ll have Homeland Security wedged in here so tight you won’t be able to breathe.”
“Homeland Security?” Sam gradually backed Chang away from Calvin’s counter and into the waiting area. “Simmer down, friend. What’s all this about?”
“Child trafficking,” Chang finally said, when Sam had backed him into a corner and he had nowhere else to move to. “We believe the man is a sex trafficker and his ‘family’ is being photographed for sale online.”
“You have some proof of that?”
“I have images in this file,” Chang answered, showing the corner of a file folder tucked in his jacket. “They match general descriptions of those people.”
“General descriptions. Calvin, pull up the security photos and show me this happy family, please.”
Calvin spun his monitor and Sam glanced at the Oriental family. Chang surrendered the file after Sam held out his hand for a solid minute. Sam spent a few more minutes in study.
“How can you be sure these are the same kids? They’ve been worked over like poodles at a dog groomer.”
“This is not your business,” Chang insisted.
“You’re not Homeland Security,” Sam said. “Who are you?”

Click the image above to see the book on Amazon.

 

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A Simple Overview of the Mechanisms Which Caused the Flood — Post by Michael J. Findley

water drop 25

1) There is more water under the seas than in the seas. The exact amount is not important. It is important to understand that this is considerably more than enough water for a worldwide flood.

2) At the beginning of the Flood, the single antediluvian continent ripped apart rapidly. This had two important results.

3) The antediluvian mountains collapsed. So covering the mountains with water did not require as much water as flood deniers claim.

4) Rifts opened up between the continents. As the rifts widened, they were flooded by ocean water. These rift are now on the sea floor. Today, we know of more than 66,000 km of ridges in the oceans. Modern mountain chains, such as the Cascades (the Cascades are just one example) were also formed by volcanic activity at this time. They are not included in the 66,000 km of rifts (now ridges) from the Atlantic and the Pacific Rim. There are other ridges worldwide, in addition to these ridges and volcanic mountain chains When the rifts are built up with magma, they become mountain ridges.

5) We can measure the eruptive force of the known Mt St Helens eruption. The Yellowstone caldera erupted with 2,500 times the force Mt St Helens either during the Flood or soon after. The ocean rifts were millions of times the force and size of the Yellowstone caldera.

6) Most volcanic activity though starting on land, was quickly flooded by seawater and continued undersea. As depth increases, the ocean water pressure requires greater steam pressure for an eruption to occur. The amount of steam released by undersea volcanic activity increases with depth.

7) The heat from the volcanic activity turns the ocean water which comes into contact with it into steam. This steam saturated the atmosphere, causing rain.

8) Moisture would rise in the atmosphere to the point where it would cool and condense as rain. This rain would cool the lower atmosphere and create a continuous rain cycle. This is a more extreme hydrologic cycle than we know today.

9) Aquatic life and life on the ark survived because they were not in the areas of great volcanic activity. The most extreme volcanic activity was regional, not global. The rifts where the most extreme volcanic activity occurred are the divisions of the new continents, where the continents broke apart.

10) The steam released by undersea volcanic activity was either cooled by the surrounding ocean water or if it reached the surface, it eventually turned to rain. On a miniature scale, modern undersea volcanoes do the same thing.

11) There are tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of volcanic cones today. There are hundreds just on the north rim of the Grand Canyon alone.

12) At the end of the Flood, the valleys sank down and the mountains arose.

13) These forces can easily produce a global flood in 40 days.

14) What do you chose to believe?

Image courtesy of Pixabay CC Public Domain

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The Book I Wasn’t Supposed to Write … and all the “Real Books” — Post by Mary C. Findley

Awhile back hubby asked for a book of standards. It was supposed to be a simple guide for people who might want to have us help promote their books. It was supposed to explain our views and how we would decide what books we could support. I hemmed and hawed and said I didn’t quite get what he was looking for, because I have difficulty doing simple. However, I eventually jumped in and started cranking out a small book based on Philippians. I let hubby start reading it, and he said … it wasn’t what he was looking for. But he also said it was a great idea and I should keep going on it. So, I not only kept going, I added material from, of all things, the Book of Numbers, and then I kept going and added a pretty good chunk from Proverbs and even Ephesians.

The basic standards and guidelines did eventually get written, and they are in the appendix of the book I wasn’t supposed to write, which is this one:

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This book has been brewing in my heart for a long time. I wanted to communicate what we should and shouldn’t read, what we should and shouldn’t write, and mostly how God wants us to think and read and write. We should not get our standards from men.

Understand what takes your breath away in a book while breathing the pure air of God’s truth. Using Philippians, Numbers, Proverbs, and Ephesians, readers and writers can learn to

  • apply eternal standards to reading and writing, fiction and non-fiction
  • be a discerning reader and a godly writer
  • discover positive and negative criteria for entertaining as well as teaching
  • understand what’s actually being taught and also what should be taught.

It’s not all about inspiration or objectionable elements. Learn to sniff out where the bad air of secularism wants to lead you.

In other good news, we finally have copies of all of our books in print. The photos are not as great as I hoped, but the books really look fantastic. So excited.
All the Antidisestablishmentarianism Books

All the Antidisestablishmentarianism Books

All the Conflict of the Ages Books

All the Conflict of the Ages Books

All the Benny and the Bank Robber Books

All the Benny and the Bank Robber Books

Other Historicals and Write for the King of Glory

Other Historicals and Write for the King of Glory

Scifi and Steampunk Books

Scifi and Steampunk Books

A new author friend got slightly crushed when his dad read his book, loved it, but said “I wish you’d published it.” (it was only ebook). So for those like that dad who need “real” books, here they are,all 24 of them. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly will be in print soon, too, but let me assure you that all our books are real and really published. Give them a try.

 

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Book Reviews — Post by Mary C. Findley

Slave Again by Alana Terry
4.0 out of 5 stars Freedom and Strength May Not Be What You Think September 7, 2014

Are you looking for an uplifting message of hope? You may have to look hard in this extraordinary story. Mee-Kyong was not someone I ever wanted to hear about again, so I admit I was reluctant to read it when I learned the subject of this book. Still, her story is compelling, because she tries so hard to save herself, and later even sacrifices for and tries to save someone else. Mee-kyong actually gets rescued, but all of these things demonstrate the most surprising and difficult lesson Terry has to teach. What does it really mean to be strong? What does it mean to be free, or to free someone else? What kind of help do people really need to satisfy their physical and spiritual hunger? These are hard, hard questions to answer, but Terry tackles them with strength and grace. It is not an easy book to read, but if you miss the opportunity, you will be poorer in spirit.

Saga of the Everking — Revised Edition by David G. Johnson

5.0 out of 5 stars A loving teacher and a proud king September 1, 2014

The characters, warmth, and humor are great in this short story, as well as the serious lessons. The Everking’s pride demands that he must secure his succession. He fears his warlike people will splinter if he fails to produce a suitable heir. This short story echoes the biblical Abraham and Sarah but has shocking twists and lessons about the price of doing things our own way, and forgetting who the real Everking is.

The Karini and Lamek Chronicles 3-Book Bundle by Cynthia P. Willow
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantasy Classic for All Ages August 11, 2014

Book 1 This is a story an adult can read all in one night, but I can imagine it becoming a great bedtime story that will reward your kids for hitting the hay on time. Lamek doesn’t know who he should be loyal to when the only life he knows is mockery and slavery, and the only friend he has is a warped and selfish dragon. Karini’s a timid pink fairy who’s promised to help the cause of freedom, but how do you get free from thirteen dragons? There’s an army you won’t expect, a separation and a sacrifice you won’t soon forget, and, best of all, there are two more books in the series to look forward to!

Book 2 This seems like a great book for children to read for themselves themselves. I enjoyed its simplicity and down-to-earth tone, while still allowing for flights of fantasy and a cast of magical characters. Unlike many that try to be high fantasy with complex language and deep symbolism. It’s a story of friendship, courage, loyalty, and has so many good moral lessons. It doesn’t wallow in the dark side, but clearly portrays evil as evil. It explores grief, personal sacrifice, but still has humor, bright spots, and good guys winning.

Book 3 This final story in the trilogy is about what people do and don’t wish for. You might get your wish, but it might not be what you want or need. Lamek is not the only one who learns that lesson in the climax of the Karini and Lamek Chronicles. Lessons in love, war, and character abound. Natas has no desire to re-unite with someone he thought abandoned him long ago. Parallel characters play off the different ways to look at responsibility, ambition, and true friendship. Sometimes the cost can be very high, before you learn the truth about yourself and how to do the right thing. A little magic doesn’t hurt, either.

 

 

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Read This Instead — Post by Mary C. Findley

anti sam harris ad

Sam Harris has a new book coming out on September 9, called Waking Up.  He claims we can do away with all religion now, and he is going to wake us up to what we should be doing instead of believing in God. But please read the quote in the graphic above, and understand that Harris is NOT interested in giving you a choice or being tolerant if you do want to continue to believe in God or practice a religion. If you would prefer to have a chance to hear evidence about whether, perhaps, Harris is proposing a replacement religion, rather than the end of religion, we suggest you take a look at our book, Antidisestablishmentarian. We quote Harris and hundreds of other Secular Humanists who consider belief a form of insanity, and want to take away your freedom to practice your faith. Below is an excerpt from Chapter Twelve.  Complete sources for quotations can be found in the book.

12. What Is True Science?

Pilate saith unto him [Jesus],What is truth?
John 18:38 KJV

Secularists like Charles Watts and Richard Dawkins affirm a single belief, though they vary in their methods of stating it. They believe that there is no evidence for the truth of any “revealed faith” and that only secularist science should be permitted to exist. People who call a religion “revealed” mean that somehow these people were told what to believe by a non-material means and that there is no outside evidence that the written record, their holy scriptures, are true or authoritative. Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, said, “We have names for people who have many beliefs for which there is no rational justification. When their beliefs are extremely common we call them ‘religious’; otherwise, they are likely to be called ‘mad’, ‘psychotic’ or ‘delusional’…”1 That’s why they call it revealed faith, because secularists have changed the meaning of the word faith into blindly accepting something without evidence.

Every ancient polytheistic belief system has stories of outrageous behavior by its gods. Buddhism and similar “wisdom” religions have no gods per se but they rely upon “enlightenment” received in an otherworldly state of solitary meditation. Islam was delivered to Mohammed in the form of the Koran. The Latter Day Saints received their revelatory scriptures on golden plates from the angel Moroni. Andy Rooney once said about “revealed faiths” that “Those to whom his word was revealed were always alone in some remote place, like Moses. There wasn’t usually anyone else around when Mohammed got the word, either. Mormon Joseph Smith and Christian Scientist, Mary Baker Eddy, had exclusive audiences with God. We have to trust them as reporters – and you know how reporters are. They’ll do anything for a story.”2

Secularists delight in saying that all religions are equally unreliable, their revelations received in secret. But in the case of Moses, he received a relatively brief commission alone in the desert at the burning bush. The children of Israel did not say they were forced to swallow a tall tale of Moses’ secret revelation. They said, “The LORD our God hath shown us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire.” Most of the written laws of God were delivered in full view of the entire nation of Israel on Mt. Sinai. “We have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die?” (Deuteronomy 5:24, 25, KJV) The people, 603,550 fighting men plus women, children and the aged, (Numbers 1:46) were so convinced that God was really there in the thunder and lightning, and that the laws came directly from Him, that they begged Moses to go up on the mountain as their representative, convinced that as frail sinners they could die in the holy presence of God. Every Israelite could see the cloud and pillar of fire in the middle of the camp every day. All of them saw the plagues in Egypt, participated in the Red Sea crossing, watched Pharaoh’s army drown in the Red Sea, heard God speak to Moses at the tabernacle and saw the destruction of those who rebelled. None of these events took place in secret locations or for a chosen few.

In many cases prophets in the rest of the Old Testament spoke openly to the people as God gave them a revelation. “And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came.” (I Kings 18:30, 31, KJV) John the Baptist was in the desert but crowds of people flocked to him. He didn’t collect them after he got some secret revelation.

“Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.” (Matthew 3:5,6, KJV) John the Baptist gives testimony that the miraculous circumstances at Jesus’ baptism occurred in full view of all the people present with him at the event. “And John bare record, saying,’ I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.’ …’Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.’ And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:32-34, KJV).

The teachings and attesting miracles (attesting means proof that He was who He said He was) of Jesus Christ in the New Testament were usually in open places before hundreds or thousands of people. “And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things. … And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.” (Mark 6:34, 42-44 KJV)

This lie (teaching in secret) was one of the false charges leveled against Jesus at his mockery of a trial. Though Jesus said very little at these so-called trials, he did answer this one charge. “Jesus answered him, ‘I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.’” (John 18:20,21, KJV)

1 Sam Harris, The End of Faith, W.W. Norton & Company New York, NY, 2004.
2 Andy Rooney, Sincerely, Andy Rooney, Essay Productions, Public Affairs, by the Perseus Group, New York, NY, 1999.

http://authl.it/1gv?d Amazon world link for the plain ebook and print editions

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/89123 Smashwords plain ebook versions

http://authl.it/1hn?d Illustrated ebook version

https://gumroad.com/l/xZwz Gumroad epub, mobi, and pdf versions of the illustrated version.

Just as a side note, when you go to Amazon, you will find two reviews,which,  when you read them, you should consider that neither of these people, however well-intentioned, has actually read the book. Also please read the Smashwords review.  But in the end, if you want to know for sure, you are just going to have to find out for yourself what it really says.

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A Biblical Definition of Wisdom — Guest Post by Richard Capriola

a nation under judgment
How do you define wisdom? For some it’s measured by a person’s level of knowledge and learning or by one’s level of education. Dictionaries define wisdom as philosophic and scientific learning. Other definitions of wisdom include sound judgment, good insight, or common sense. Native Americans believe wisdom is earned only after living a long life that brings learning and experience.

These definitions have merit, but they fall short of a biblical definition of wisdom. Biblical wisdom can be defined as the ability to see things from God’s point of view. As Christians, our wisdom grows when we understand and accept God’s point of view. The same is true of nations; they show wisdom when they align their policies with God’s view.

Without wisdom people can find themselves in trouble and countries risk disaster. The further a nation strays from God’s point of view, the closer it comes to being a nation under judgment.

We live in a nation that prides itself on being “one nation under God.” We ask for God’s blessing in songs like “God Bless America” by Irving Berlin. Our Supreme Court opens every session with “God save the United States and this Honorable Court.” The president and other politicians pandering for our votes give speeches that end with “God bless America.”

But what does it mean to be “one nation under God?” Have the words become merely a patriotic slogan? Do they have value only in times of national crises, when we feel threatened? Are we a nation asking for God’s protection and blessings while turning away from His point of view?

As a nation “under God” do we see things from God’s point of view when shaping national policies? Or have we lost our wisdom as a nation? When we create polices on hunger, homelessness, poverty, protecting the environment and marriage, are we following God’s point of view – or a political agenda? What does it say about our values when one of every fifty children lacks sufficient food, in a nation that wastes 40 percent of its food? These are important questions that must be asked if we value being a nation “under God” because the answers may point to a nation moving away from God’s point of view and losing its wisdom.

Christians cannot escape our responsibility to hold those we elect to public office accountable for crafting polices that reflect God’s point of view. If our nation is losing its wisdom – its ability to see things from God’s point of view – we have a responsibility to advocate for change and to elect leaders who believe that “one nation under God” is not merely a political slogan but a call to action that will bring our policies into line with God’s point of view.

Our Founding Fathers knew that we could not indefinitely exist apart from God’s point of view. George Mason warned that providence would punish national sins with national calamities. Thomas Jefferson said “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just and that his justice cannot sleep forever.” These great men understood that our nation’s future rests on its commitment to live by the words “one nation under God” and that we must create national polices that reflect His point of view rather than policies that conform to a political agenda.

Have we lost our wisdom as a nation – our ability to see things from God’s point of view? Ultimately the answer to that question will determine if we are headed toward being a nation under judgment.
————————————————-
Richard Capriola is the author of A Nation Under Judgment. His book defines wisdom as the ability to see things from God’s point of view. It addresses many of our nation’s social issues such as hunger, homelessness, marriage, the environment and abortion and empowers readers to consider if we are moving away from being One Nation Under God and moving toward God’s judgment. He completed four years of Clinical Pastoral education and has served as a hospital chaplain and mental health counselor. His book is available on Amazon and readers can view a book trailer at www.anationunderjudgment.com He resides in Katy Texas.

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